Rethink how to develop talents

Amid the euphoria of Joseph Schooling's Olympic feat and his doing the country proud in winning Singapore's first Olympic gold medal, it does appear that there is an urgent need for the authorities and the sporting fraternity to reassess their strategy for sports in Singapore ("Historic moment for Schooling, historic moment for Singapore"; Sunday).

For many years, it was not conceivable that Singapore could ever produce a winner at the Olympic Games.

Weightlifter Tan Howe Liang's silver win at the Rome Olympics in 1960 was perhaps seen as just a flash in the pan.

We did not have the confidence of another win on our own.

Millions of dollars were spent trying to court foreign sporting talent for Singapore, offering them citizenships, hoping to "buy" Singapore a winner.

Schooling was not "bought" or imported. The Government did this right: Schooling's national service was deferred, and he was able to focus on his dream and passion.

Will the authorities now rethink, among other things, how to allocate and divert funds into developing local sports, to truly invest rightfully in ourselves?

The answers we were looking for all along were probably right under our noses the whole time.

Tan Ah Ung

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2016, with the headline 'Rethink how to develop talents'. Print Edition | Subscribe